DT 26651 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26651

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26651

Hints and tips by Falcon

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Fortunately, this puzzle is not overly difficult as I was working “without a net” today. Problems with the DT web site caused major headaches (and no doubt loss of sleep) for Big Dave who was able to ship the puzzle across the Atlantic but not the completed grid. I find this to be a typical Jay puzzle, one that leans a bit toward the easier end of the scale.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a Finding two pence in water brings a lump in one’s throat (5,5)
{ADAM’S APPLE} – two new pence inserted into a colloquial expression for water – one that may have been used in the Garden of Eden – create an anatomical projection at the front of the throat that is more prominent in men than in women.

6a Fruit regularly seen in doctor’s bag (4)
{GRIP} – the even letters (regularly) of fRuIt, when placed inside a short term for a family physician, produce what Chambers tells me is a North American term for a holdall.

9a Review degree given for hot rock (5)
{MAGMA} – molten rock from the interior of the earth is formed from a charade of a periodical that might carry reviews of the arts plus an advanced degree in that field.

10a Unruly mob sent to film location (9)
{TOMBSTONE} – not only is this the film location, but it is the title of a 1993 American western about the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral and its aftermath. It is also an anagram (unruly) of MOB SENT TO.

12a Dine out and finish uncertain (13)
{INDETERMINATE} – an anagram (out) of DINE followed by a verb meaning come to an end gives us an adjective signifying not precisely fixed.

14a Elated, when hands go up for film (4,4)
{HIGH NOON} – the solution is another American western, this one a 1952 film starring Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly. The first word is an adjective meaning euphoric or over-excited and the second is a time of day when the hands of the clock reach for the sky.

15a Standing, with no right, for representation (6)
{STATUE} – by chiselling R(ight) from a noun meaning greatness or importance, we can create a sculpted figure that may be erected in a public place to commemorate someone famous.

17a Inexperienced, and depressed by coastal state (6)
{CALLOW} – this word meaning young and inexperienced comes from the abbreviation for a state on the west coast of the U.S. followed by an adjective used to describe the emotional state of one who is depressed or dispirited …

19a Miserable Irish county players (8)
{DOWNCAST} – … maintaining the theme, another adjective meaning glum or dispirited is a charade of an Irish county and the roster of players in a stage production

21a Establishment figure? (7,6)
{FOUNDER MEMBER} – a cryptic definition of someone who was instrumental in establishing a society or organization

24a Drunken English occupying poor Britain leave at last (9)
{INEBRIATE} – this is an anagram, but “drunken” is the definition rather than the anagram indicator. To find the solution, put E(nglish) inside (occupying) an anagram (poor) of BRITAIN to which you must append the last letter of (leav)E.

25a A tall story — over very quick (5)
{ALIVE} – the definition is “quick” in the sense of intelligent, alert or sharp and the solution is A plus a false statement containing (over) V(ery). Big Dave nearly had to pick up the pieces here as I had initially thought that the solution must be AGILE and spent donkey’s years trying to justify G meaning tall – A plus G plus an anagram (over) of LIE.

26a Jack is simply showing a light touch (4)
{KISS} – hidden in the first three words of the clue, you will find a word meaning a light touch – such as one billiard ball gently nudging another.

27a The cheek to cross leader of rebels shows lack of caution (10)
{IMPRUDENCE} – insert the leading letter of R(ebels) into a noun denoting being insolent or impertinent to get a word meaning rashness or heedlessness


1d Top expert pinches millions (4)
{ACME} – wrap someone who is extremely good at something around M(illions) to achieve the highest point of success. It is also the name of the supplier by appointment to Wile E. Coyote.

2d Don’t start — suspended for fishing! (7)
{ANGLING] – remove the first letter from (don’t start) a word meaning hanging loosely to form another word meaning fishing with a rod and line

3d Bank facility for putting up with brothers, for example (8,5)
{STANDING ORDER} – an instruction for a bank to make periodic payments to a third party could also be interpreted as tolerating members of a religious community

4d Stupidly tiptoe in to make a request (8)
{PETITION} – an anagram (stupidly) of TIPTOE IN gives rise to a formal written request to an authority for action, signed by a large number of people

5d Primate depicted in Constable mural (5)
{LEMUR} – an endangered nocturnal tree-dwelling animal with large eyes and a long bushy tail is hiding in the last two words of the clue

7d Warning traitor regularly on diplomacy (4,3)
{RIOT ACT} – here the setter reprises a device used previously in 6a. Take the even (regular) letters of tRaItOr and attach a word meaning skill or judgement in handling difficult situations to obtain a warning to disperse an unlawful gathering

8d Such examples end respect for revision (10)
{PRECEDENTS} – an anagram (for revision) of END RESPECT creates the sort of examples that a barrister may use to bolster his (or her) case

11d Avoiding directors, this may go to the wall (8,5)
{SKIRTING BOARD} – the decorative finish found next to the floor round the walls of a room in Britain might also express the idea of management not bringing matters to the attention of the directors of a company. This article goes by a different name in North America. By the way, Chambers shows the numeration as (8-5).

13d Picture young bird with fine taste (5,5)
{CHICK FLICK} – a charade of a young bird (in either sense) plus F(ine) plus taste (of an ice cream cone, perhaps) produces the kind of film to which the said young bird might drag her reluctant boyfriend (and would not include the two films previously encountered in this puzzle)

16d Ancestor’s warning on creature of the woods (8)
{FOREBEAR} – an ancestor, usually more remote than grandfather or grandmother, is a charade of a warning that is heard on golf courses and a large carnivorous animal with a heavily built body covered with thick fur, short powerful limbs, small eyes and ears, strong claws and a short tail.

18d Doctor rues all old awards (7)
{LAURELS} – an anagram (doctor) of RUES ALL provides foliage woven into a wreath or crown and worn on the head as an emblem of victory or mark of honour in classical times

20d A rule on the radio is put on trial (7)
{ARRAIGN} – a verb meaning to bring someone to a court of law to answer a criminal charge sound like (on the radio) A plus the period of time for which a king or queen rules

22d Paper encompassing student’s sphere of knowledge (5)
{REALM} – a quantity of paper (to be precise, 500 sheets – give or take a dozen or two) enveloping Crosswordland’s iconic student forms a field of interest (or the domain ruled by the the monarch from the previous clue)

23d Nothing more than water (4)
{MERE} – an adjective meaning nothing more than is also an archaic or poetic term for a pond or lake

While I would be hard-pressed to select a favourite clue, I will single out three of the long clues (21a, 3d, and 11d) as the most satisfying clues to have solved – given that they are all British expressions that are new to me. I was actually able to work them out from the wordplay before confirming their existence in the dictionary.

The Quick crossword pun (calf} + {hairy} = {car ferry} – not the one across the Mersey!

40 comments on “DT 26651

  1. A pleasant puzzle but as you say, not particularly taxing. I thought we had a western (at least a movie) theme starting with 10a and 14a but there were no more, at least none that I noticed. Thanks to Jay and Falcon.

    1. No more film connections?!?!

      How about
      6a, one of the rigging technicians…….
      9a, subtitled “Volcanic Disaster”…..
      17a, Simon, in films…..
      19a, possibly, errrr, a fed up set of actors…..
      24 a, Edna, the 24a woman………
      1a, always the brand used in Road Runner films…….
      13d, a film for girls………
      18d…….. 18ds and Hardys made LOADS of films (may be getting a a bit thin here)……..

      Not to mention the use of film related words in the clues……
      10a, 14a, 11a, and 13a.
      :-) :-)

      Any more stupid puns based on the puzzle gratefully received.

  2. Re:25a – the word “quick” is an archaic alternative to the answer. I think it was used in the “Highlander” series of films.

  3. Good morning Falcon and thanks for the blog which I needed for two clues today, I didn’t need as much of my ‘help’ as usual today though when I first looked at it I thought it was going to be really hard! A few fav clues again today, liked 1a, 6a, 14a, 13d as well as several others, good luck everyone, ot’s not as bad as it first looks :-) not raining yet, so I’m out for a few hours, enroling on an oil painting course and lunch with a very good friend, see you all later

  4. I enjoyed this- and I liked the Film theme too.

    Went off like a train and then got a bit stuck on the SW corner for no apparent reason.

    Anyway, as it is neither a) Monday nor b) late at night, I’m going over to the Toughie……. see you there…….

      1. You must be either having a laugh or very clever – have had a look and managed to do five clues – went off to cut grass and sulk …. :sad:

        1. Hi Kath

          I did not find it easy, but not as tough as some from this setter. With some puzzles from Notabilis I have spent the best part of a morning and still not completed it. Whatever anyone else might say, in my book this toughie is considerably harder than a back-page puzzle.

  5. Here is the response received from DT today.

    “Further to your communication, I can confirm that essential maintenance is planned to be carried out from 12th – 30th September 2011.

    The maintenance planned for this period is to address:
    1. Speeding up response time from database to the website
    2. Temporarily disabling Gift Subscriptions on the website

    The above maintenance should help restore the website functionality and improve reliability.

    As a gesture of good will, I have organised one month’s refund of £2.99 to your payment card. Please allow up to 5 working days for this transaction to appear on your card. Please accept our sincere apologise for the inconvenience caused by this incident and rest assure that the Telegraph Puzzles team are working hard to resolve these issues as quickly and efficiently as possible. We thank you for your continued patience during this time.”

    1. Just received this email!! Do customer services talk to Phil McNeil??? we seem to be getting different compensation!

      Thank you for contacting the Telegraph.

      Further to your recent communication I regret to confirm that on 7th August 2011 a lighting bolt struck the Telegraph Puzzles host server in Dublin. This resulted in intermittent fluctuations in both availability and the functionality of the Telegraph Puzzles website.

      Thanks to the valuable feedback of our Telegraph Puzzles subscribers, who have helped to identify the key issues, I can confirm that a full review of the Telegraph Puzzles service has now been scheduled. This will happen throughout September and include substantial site maintenance, with the aim of restoring full site functionality and usability as soon as possible.

      As a gesture of good will, I have organised two month’s refund of £5.98 to your payment card. Please allow up to 5 working days for this transaction to appear on your card.

      Please accept our sincere apologise for the inconvenience caused by this incident and rest assure that the Telegraph Puzzles team are working hard to resolve these issues as quickly and efficiently as possible. We thank you for your continued patience during this time.

      Kind regards,

      Customer Services

      Telegraph Media Group

      1. Why should we have to spend ages complaining about the service to get a refund? Surely the refund should be made to all subscribers?? Funny, there seem to be a lot of pigs flying outside the office window. :)

  6. Very slow start today but then it all fell into place quite quickly. Spent far too much time trying to justify “status” for 15a before I saw what it was. I’ve only ever heard of “chick LIT” so 13d took a while too. Liked 10 and 14a and 11 and 13d. Thanks to Jay and Falcon.

  7. This was yet another of Jay’s puzzles where the downs went in quicker than the acrosses. It all fell into place quite quickly and I enjoyed the experience, my favourite being 13d. Thanks to Falcon for the review too.

    I found the Toughie quite hard going but got there in the end. See what you think.

    1. I found toughie completely impossible – managed five clues – however did do half of yesterday’s – I WILL improve!

  8. I am always disappointed when a Jay puzzle finishes as quickly as this one did. Enjoyable all the same.
    Thanks to Jay and Falcon for the hints despite the obvious problems he experienced.

  9. Nice puzzle today but I did need Falcons tips for the explanation to some (23d, 25a – I also had Agile and 20d – it never occurred to me that radio meant sound like). Thx to Jay for a very pleasant puzzle and to Falcon for the hints. By the way my apologies to the setter for my rating of 2stars, it was meant to be 4 but that is the peril of using an iPad with big fingers!

    1. It is the phrase “on the radio” that means sounds like, since you would only hear something that is broadcast on the radio as compared to seeing it written in the newspaper.

  10. Enjoyed this one immensely and only got stuck on 25a, which will teach me to read the clues with more attention! Was trying desperately to justify “alibi” for a while. Thanks to Falcon for sorting me out and also for explaining 14a – I did get it, but couldn’t understand the reason for the second word – clever!

  11. Another enjoyable Jay outing. I, too, had ‘status’ for 15a for a while, until I realised 8d needed the ‘s’ at the end, so it must be wrong. Favourite was 19a – just made me smile, ironically! :-) Thanks to Jay and Falcon.

  12. Just finished but with help, thanks Falcon. I still can’t get the hang of ‘regular’ and that other one for the even letters. I just can’t understand the logic behind them. However, thoroughly enjoyable, thanks to Jay (if it was him)

    1. I would say that “regular” is used in the sense of periodic. While it often (or perhaps usually) means the even-numbered series of letters in a word, I am fairly certain that occasionally I have seen it used to mean the odd-numbered letters. The words “oddly” and “evenly” may also be employed in clues for this same purpose – but with them there is clearly no ambiguity as to which series of letters is being indicated.

  13. An unusually easy Jay ( for me anyway). It was fun though 2* and 4* for me. However, I was probably on a high after landing a cracking new job today. I must be having a good week. I managed to complete the back page, toughie and the Times yesterday without help. I’m just waiting for the inevitable crash!

      1. Thank you both.

        Lostboy, fear ye not, nothing will ever stop me doing the crossword. Like everyone else on here I’m almost certainly addicted.

        Kath, I’m going to be running the intelligence team for a company that investigates insurance fraud on behalf of most of the big insurance companies. Mostly fraudulent car insurance claims. Hopefully I can play a small part in arresting the alarming increase in premiums. My car insurance went up over a hundred pounds this year and I didn’t have any claims. Scandalous!

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